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The Nature of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Part One

CBN Teaching Sheet: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

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the HOLY SPIRIT

The Nature of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Part Two

By Dr. Richard Dobbins
Emerge Ministries

CBN.com When Will I Know That I Have Been Baptized in the Holy Spirit?

You will know that you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit when you pray speaking in a language that is unknown to you. Pentecostals believe speaking in other tongues is the initial physical evidence that Jesus Christ has baptized a person in the Holy Spirit. But I want you to notice carefully that speaking in tongues is not the only physical evidence, though it is the initial physical evidence.

There are other evidences, such as what happens physically in your life as a witness for Jesus Christ after you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

This is the pattern set for us in the New Testament church. In most cases, speaking in tongues is identified with someone who is baptized in the Holy Spirit. The only exception is Acts 8, where the Holy Spirit did not choose to focus specifically on speaking in other tongues, but left no doubt that there was visible evidence that this had happened.

The biblical pattern confirms that speaking in tongues is not the only physical evidence, but is the initial physical evidence.

I believe the primary reason for the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit being speaking in tongues is found in James chapter 3. James 3 says that the tongue is the most unruly member of the body. By using tongues as the initial physical evidence, God is saying that when you can bring this most unruly member of the body under the inspiration and influence of the Holy Spirit, you know that the total person has been immersed in the Holy Spirit.

How Will The Baptism in the Holy Spirit Change Me?

First, speaking in tongues will provide a way for you to personally edify yourself. The Holy Spirit is a great reliever of tension and anxiety. Being able to spiritually express yourself to God without relying on the cumbersome structure of a learned, cultural language is very liberating.

This is private speaking in tongues, not public ministry in tongues. It can enable you to intercede for someone that you may not know how to pray for, because the Holy Spirit makes intercession through you for the saints according to the will of God (see Romans 8:26,27).

Speaking in other tongues also opens the world of charismatic gifts to you. These are listed and discussed in 1 Corinthians 12-14. The public celebration of these gifts largely distinguishes the difference between the way Pentecostals approach world evangelism from the way other evangelicals pursue it.

Pentecostals believe that the charismata and the practice of these gifts of the Spirit are the ways the Holy Spirit energizes the Church for the work of evangelism. We do not believe that miracles have ceased; we believe they are an ongoing part of the ministry of the Lord Jesus through the Church as He baptizes the Church in the Holy Spirit.

Ask God to give you an open heart for all He has for you. Open your life to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Then, hunger and thirst for more of Him. It is in pursuing Him that He will bless you with the gift of the Holy Spirit. May our Lord's highest and best be yours, from this day forward!

See Part One: The Nature and Purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit


Dr. Richard D. Dobbins is the leader of EMERGE Ministries of Akron, Ohio. He serves on the faculty of Ashland Theological Seminary and initiated the coordination of their master’s program in Pastoral Counseling. An acclaimed author, Dr. Dobbins has created numerous film/video presentations on topics of interest to believers and has written many books, booklets, articles and audiotapes on Christian mental health care.

© Media Ministries of the Assemblies of God. The highlights of the daily and weekly radio program, "From This Day Forward," are a joint production of EMERGE Ministries, Akron, Ohio, and the Media Ministries of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Mo. Used with Permission.

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